Essential business travel tips
Get from A to B smoothly with these essential business travel top tips:
Before you go:
1. Check Advanced Passenger Information
Check with your agent or airline whether you need to provide any Advanced Passenger Information - this will need to have been done by the time you check in.
2. Know your airline's baggage restrictions
Before you travel, take some time to look at your airline's baggage restrictions - it will usually cover everything from hand luggage and sporting equipment to liquid restrictions and banned items.
3. Pack wisely
Travelling light is a prerequisite of any business traveller - and is also a fine art. Here are some ideas to help you organise your bag:
- When it comes to clothes, pack the essentials and make sure you have outfits that can be mixed and matched - sadly your wardrobe won't fit in your hand luggage.
- If you're taking hand luggage, all bottles/liquids must be no more than 100ml. Try and pack all of these in a clear plastic bag so you can access them easily and not spend time rummaging at security. Alternatively, pre-order any toiletries and pick up airside.
- Make sure you pack the right travel adaptors for the country you are visiting. Check you have the right adaptor here www.worldstandards.eu/plugs-and-sockets/
- Don't forget your business cards but also pop a card into each bag you're taking - it's a great way of identifying them should they get lost.
- Organise your on-board reading material into a bag before you board - this way you can quickly take out of your hand luggage.
4. Charge everything the night before...
And while you're away use USB ports to charge your gadgets.
5. Save time by checking in online (and check your flight status)
If you've been issued with an e-ticket, check in online, avoid the check-in counter and go straight through to security. Simple. But make sure you check your flight status before you leave - otherwise you may find you're not going anywhere!
At the airport:
6. Get through security quickly
Don't get held up in security, simply follow these easy steps:
- Assess the queue situation - who and what is going to hold you up? Look out for families with small children, couples, unconventional luggage, and anyone who looks like they haven't been travelling for a while.
- As above, make sure you're bottles and liquids are in a clear plastic bag and no bigger than 100ml.
- Grab two trays. Put things like your mobile, belt and any loose change in your laptop bag and place in one tray, use the other tray for jackets, shoes and any other luggage you have.
- Keep your boarding pass and passport to hand - there's always someone who will want to see it again.
7. Make use of the facilities in business lounges
It's worth heading to a business lounge, so you can hook up to the WiFi, check your emails, charge any gadgets (that you didn't do the night before) and find something to eat. You could also treat yourself to some pampering or a swim...
8. Beat jet lag
If you're on a long-haul flight, adjust your watch to your new time zone and try and sleep and eat according to your destination. If you haven't eaten at the airport, order a special meal (eg vegetarian) and you'll probably get fed first.
9. Use your travel time wisely
While you're travelling, use the down time to write emails, create/finish presentations, read reports/documents and generally catch up... Once you've finished, and you have time, relax, read and sleep.
While you're away:
10. Stay connected
Wifi on your travels can be a bit hit and miss. Make sure you keep connected by using your international data plan (if possible) and then your mobile device as a data hotspot. Alternatively, set up a VPN before you leave or buy a sim card when you arrive at your destination.
11. Track your expenses while you're away
Keep your boss happy by keeping a record of your expenses. This can be done through your travel management company's preferred technology or apps such as Expensify.
12. Meet new connections
Wherever your travels take you, see if you can meet up with other connections in the area. With professionals now forming a lot of relationships through social media, it could be a good opportunity to meet them in person.
13. Get to know your concierge
They will be able to tell you where to eat and shop and how to make use of local services. If you're there for a little longer, find out about cultural sites and excursions that you could go on.
14. Mix business and leisure
If you're travelling towards the end of the week, why not extend your stay to include the weekend and invite friends and family to join you for a long weekend. Take a look at our leisure partners the Internet Traveller and then talk to your account manager when you make the booking.